How Do You Use a Tarp Backpacking?

By Robert Palmer

Backpacking is a fun and rewarding way to explore nature and experience the great outdoors, but it can also be challenging if you don’t bring the right gear. One of the most important pieces of gear you’ll need is a tarp, which can provide shelter from the elements, protection from wind and rain, and even added warmth on cold nights. Here’s how to use a tarp when backpacking.

1. Choose an appropriate size. When selecting a tarp for backpacking, it’s important to find one that will fit your needs. If you’re planning on using it for shelter, make sure it’s large enough to cover your sleeping area. If you’re using it for wind protection or as a ground cover, pick one that will fit over the area you need to protect.

2. Choose a fabric type. Tarps come in many different fabrics and weights, so choose one that is lightweight yet durable enough for your needs. For backpacking trips where weight is an issue, opt for lighter materials like polyethylene or nylon.


Set up your tarp. Once you’ve chosen an appropriate size and fabric type for your tarp, it’s time to set it up. If you’re setting up a shelter with your tarp, start by finding two trees or other sturdy objects that are far enough apart so the tarp will fit snugly between them. Secure the corners of the tarp tightly with rope or bungee cords. If you’re using your tarp as a ground cover or wind protector, simply lay it out flat over the area you want to protect.

4. Enjoy!

Once you’ve set up your tarp properly and taken necessary precautions such as staking down corners in windy conditions, settle in and enjoy! A good quality tarp can provide protection from rain and wind while still allowing air to circulate so you can stay comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

Using a tarp when backpacking can be incredibly beneficial. Not only does it provide protection from rain and wind but its lightweight design makes it easy to transport and set up in any environment. With just four simple steps – choosing an appropriate size, picking a fabric type, setting up your tarp properly, and enjoying – anyone can use a tarp while backpacking successfully.


Using a tarp while backpacking is easy if you know what size and material to choose for your needs as well as how to set them up properly.